Friday, August 29, 2008

Which Type Are You?

There are three types of people:
Those who make things happen
Those who watch things happen
Those who talk about what happened

Those who make things happen get involved. They make a difference in the world around them. If a problem arises, they fix it. If an opportunity presents itself, they jump on it. They are constantly reading and learning, all in order to better their life. Hard work and discipline lead this group to amazing wealth. They never have to worry about money, they are able to enjoy their family, and they are able to really the things that life has to offer. The happiest people, the most successful people, are THESE people.

Those who watch things happen are in the middle. They see what the “doers” are doing and think it’s great, but don’t step up to the plate to do any of those things themselves. They are always following in the footsteps of someone else. If an opportunity arises, they are skeptical and shy away from it. These people go with the flow and let life happen to them. They don’t make life work for them. They are “happy enough”.

And then there are those who do the talking. “I don’t make enough money.” “I’ll never get ahead.” “All the greedy people have the money” “I’d be successful if it weren’t for (fill in the blank)” “I’d have money if only the government would (fill in the blank).” “Nobody will give me a break.” “My boss doesn’t realize how valuable I am.” “I don’t know how they got out of debt. Someone must have given them a bunch of money.” This is the most vocal group, as they are the gossipers, whiners, and complainers.

Everyone of us belongs in that first group. We’re not all there yet so make that your goal. Don’t sit back and wait to see what life presents to you. Go make the life that you want to have.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Keys to Success

Since I’m on the kick of getting you to read, let me keep right on going.

Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement
By Napoleon Hill

This book I’m reading now is so full of valuable information, I haul a notebook with me so I can take notes as I read it. To give you an glimpse into the book, here are a few of the lines I’ve underlined and notes I’ve taken while reading it:

If you are going to achieve success, you will do so only by extraordinary effort, effort that most people are not willing to make.

People simply will not tolerate a bad mental attitude.

A positive mental attitude is the most important aspect of any attractive personality. It influences your tone of voice, your posture, your facial expressions. It modifies every word you say and determines the nature of emotions you feel.

Fear of criticism can prevent you from acting on ideas that are revolutionary, ideas that would give you independence. It robs you of your individuality.

I got my book for practically nothing on I don’t have any extras of these to give away, but it’s well worth the investment to get yourself a used copy.


You are all winners, but only three of you are BOOK winners!

Congrats to LeAnn, Rick and Tug! I think I know who LeAnn is and the other two I'll get in touch with to get your mailing information. My books haven't arrived yet, but hopefully they will today or tomorrow so I can get them to you right away.

Now it's your turn to do some work - READ THE BOOKS!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Green3 on the Radio

If you've read through the recent comments, you've seen that some people heard Dave Ramsey mention my name on his radio show the other day. And not even my blog name - my REAL name!

Sadly, it was not on Debt Free Friday. That's for another day.

I sent him an email telling him that I had purchased several of his TMMO books to give away on my blog and to thank him for letting us take advantage of his $10.00 sale. He read my email on the air and used it as a short promo for his Labor Day sale.

If you download his podcasts, you can find it in the first hour of his Aug. 25 show. It's about 10:40 into the show. The boys and I sat around the laptop the other night listening to it. They were so excited. "MOM! DAVE RAMSEY SAID YOUR NAME! I bet he remembers you from when you went to Kansas City to see him!"

Probably, green. Probably.

And Now a Pic of the Fam

Dave Ramsey Giveaway!

**Sticky post. Scroll down for current posts.

If you know me at all, you know I hate to spend money unnecessarily. But you also know that I like to help people.

Dave Ramsey is running his $10 Labor Day sale. I took advantage of that sale and just bought 7 copies of The Total Money Makeover. That’s $70 I’m not sending toward debt, so that’s how strongly I feel about sharing this with other people. It is life changing.

One copy will be donated to my local library and am going to keep a few just in case I find someone who needs it and who will read it. I will be giving away three copies here on this post.

Here are the things you don’t have to do in order to enter:

  • You don’t have to tell me how much debt you have.
  • You don’t have to give me your story.
  • Heck, you don’t even need to have debt.
  • You don’t need to have a blog.

Here are the things you do need to do:

  • Post a comment here and tell me that YOU WILL READ IT. Don’t just sign up because it’s something “free”.
  • You can post anonymously if you want, but I do need to be able to tell who you are if you win.
  • You need to sign up by Thursday, August 28 at 8:00AM.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School Pics

Sunday, August 24, 2008


The door of opportunity is always open. You just have to be willing to go through it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Spare Change

This morning I collected all the change around our house, some small misc checks we had, and went to the bank and placed it as a payment toward our heloc. It came to $40.12.

Laugh if you want, but I bet it's a larger principal payment than most people made today.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's for US

As we were celebrating our "Dave" anniversary the other day, Pool Boy asked how much we had paid off in one year. I'm kicking myself for not keeping an exact number like those people on Dave's Debt Free Friday calls do, but from my rough estimates it's around $45,000. IN JUST ONE YEAR! That is a lot of sacrificing, a LOT of selling stuff and a lot of focus.

I heard a phone call of Dave's today from a lady who paid off $50,000 in debt with a $65,000 annual income. They had a whole lot of stuff to sell. "Was it worth it?" Dave asked. "Without a doubt," she replied.

I have two new pictures hanging in my office at work. One is of a beach and one is of a mountain. That will be my life in the future and I remind myself of that every single day. We are working to make money for us - not for a car payment, not for a credit card payment, not for a bunch of things that make us appear wealthier than we really are. The money is for us.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I don't talk politics around here too much, but it's VP time! Obama has picked his VP, he says, but won't give a name yet.

Joe Biden - Has anyone ever seen this guy smile?

Bill Nelson - Well, this just cracks me up for reasons only a few of you will understand. I guess I had no idea he was interested in the job.

Evan Bayh - Maybe, although it's just another strange name we have to get used to.

Hillary - President? Yes. Vice President? No.

Tom Vilsack - Would be cool, but wouldn't fly. Nobody knows him except us Iowans.

Caroline Kennedy - I've only seen her name mentioned once but this would be a winning ticket. She's my pick, but why on earth would she want it?

Personally, I think Republicans blew it this election. McCain? Seriously? I could be persuaded to vote Republican because some of my views are *gasp* conservative but John McCain? No, just no.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tana, then Attitude

Before I get to the attitude thing, let me fill you in on Tana. She was, in one word, amazing. I ended up buying some of her stuff and subscribing to her enewsletter. If you have the opportunity to listen to her speak, DO IT. I pray that the people in her audience last night listened to what she had to say and will make changes in their lives.

And now, attitude. I was planning this long intense post about having a positive attitude. But I'm just going to say this:

A negative attitude will destroy you, your personal relationships, your work relationships, and everything else. Take note of the thoughts going through your head and the words coming out of your mouth. Are you a negative person? Focus on yourself - if you catch yourself thinking or saying negative things, STOP. It will change your life.

Ok, and now this. Millionaire Mommy Next Door wrote exactly what I've been wanting to write. So I will just point you over there. And don't think you don't need to read it because chances are you do. She relates positive attitudes to wealth building but the points she makes apply to achieving all of your goals.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Tonight I am going to listen to Tana Goertz speak. You know Tana. Apprentice? Bedazzler? Iowa? Well now people pay her cash to speak, I guess. I’m not sure on what but since I don’t have to pay for it I’m totally going. Food in involved.

But wait. I just checked her website out. This might actually be completely awesome! I love motivational books, quotes, and the like. This could be right up my alley…

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Life is slowing down for the summer around the green3 house. That's great news, except for one thing.

I now have more time think about how much I miss my Dad.

Don't worry - I'm fine. I just miss him. He's missing out on so much. WE are missing out on so much. I know I'm supposed to say that "he's in a better place now" but how could it be better than being here with us?

So with that, I'm ready to share his obituary with you. I still read it almost daily.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


One year ago I discovered Dave Ramsey.

Pool Boy and I were talking last night about where we were at financially one year ago. He had just bought a brand new, cherry red zero turn mower for $3000 – financed, of course. We had two car payments that equaled $785 per month. We had credit card debt of several thousand dollars. We had a home equity line of credit loan with a very large balance. We owed Best Buy for a new television and laptop. And on and on. And ON. We thought we were doing well (just like some of you may be thinking now, eh?).

Then I downloaded one of Dave’s podcasts and listened to it while on a walk one evening. What he said stopped me in my tracks – literally. Like, I was walking and then I stopped. Then I proceeded to panic. “Ohhhhhhhh Noooooo,” I thought to myself. “He’s talking about us.”

What Dave said that night informed me that we were dead broke. And we didn’t even realize it until that night. We never had a problem paying our bills, but here is where we were going wrong:

  • We weren’t in charge of our money. We had no idea how much was going in and how much was going out.
  • If we wanted something but couldn’t pay cash for it, we financed it. Car, truck, big screen television, laptop, mower, leather furniture…all financed. Some at zero percent interest, but still financed.
  • We bought a lot of crap we didn’t need. We went out to eat a lot, bought clothes if we saw something we liked, bought jewelry, went away on unplanned (in other words, unbudgeted) weekends, and then some.
  • Retirement? We foolishly thought we didn’t need to do anything except keep contributing to my 401K and PB’s pension plan. What kind of retirement would that have been?
  • We were grossly under-insured. Thank god nothing happened to either one of us during that time.

We had no plan. We were completely winging it. We were broke and only going to get more broke. It took a wake up call from Dave to realize it. Thank god we listened.

Oh, and today is also our real anniversary. Happy 15th year, Pool Boy! I love you!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Difference

Because I’m a nerd, I did a little more analyzing of my line of credit loan tonight. I mostly like looking at the running balance along the right side of the page and to see how fast that has gone down.

Our real push on this (OUR LAST) debt started in January. Since January, we have made 34 payments toward this loan for a total of $14,000 knocked off the principal. (insert happy dance here). Those payments are for a wide range of amounts, some as low as $3.00 to others well over $1,000.

If I had only been paying the amount due, which basically was the interest, I would have made only 8 payments for a total of $2240 and my principal would be exactly the same today as it was on January 1.

$14,000 = good
$0 = bad

I’m telling you this because I want to give you a real example of how getting out of debt works. Spend way less than you make and send every single extra penny you have toward your smallest debt.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Snowflakes in August

Today I sent a principle payment of $6.48 to my loan.

Since my loan is substantially more than that, you may think I'm insane. Or at the very least, wasting my time.

This is how debts are gotten rid of, friends. You gather every penny you have and put it toward your debt. Don't wait for the huge amounts because they will probably never come. These small payments are called snowflakes!

If you still think I'm crazy, let me tell you that snowflakes played a huge role in getting my car paid off. Every time I sold a book on, the money I made went directly to the loan - even if it meant sending in a check for $6.48. I didn't even waste envelopes and postage because I do all of my payments online. If you are paying your bills through your online banking feature, you really need to do it.

Snowflakes work. They also make you feel like you are accomplishing something - because you are.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Perfect Quote

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

-- Dalai Lama

Friday, August 01, 2008

July = Broke

July was our worst month in the past year, budget-wise. We spent a LAWT of money – went way over budget. Summer tends to do that to us. Here’s a rundown of where all the extra money went this month:

Vet bill, Pool Boy’s sister’s wedding (PB and boys were in wedding, plus gifts), truck repairs, fall soccer registrations, Dad’s memorial golf tournament, ½ beef and ½ pork purchases, family reunion expenses, oven repairs, and a new grill (old one flew out the back of our truck).

PB had plans for our family last night – we didn’t go* because we are over budget. We have plans for tonight – may not go* because we are over budget. It’s ridiculous to spend that much money.

*Ok, ok, so we also aren’t going to these things because of MY BACK! I’m on the couch until the chiro work kicks in. But still. I’m tired of spending that much money!

Our whole family has agreed on the reward at the end of our debt reduction plan. Once we are debt free except for the house, we are going on a cruise! We anticipate that happening within the next 12 months, plus we’ll need a few additional months to save up cash for the cruise. It’s fun to have everyone on board because now each time they ask to buy something I can say, “But what about the cruise?” Gets ‘em every time.